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Fitbit truly helped bring activity and fitness tracking into the mainstream consciousness. Thanks to the wide variety of easy-to-use devices from the pioneering brand, anyone with a smartphone can take a big step on the journey to a healthier lifestyle, as long as you ask the right questions.
But let’s face it, as with any piece of technology, you may suffer buyer’s remorse down the road after purchasing a Fitbit model because it doesn’t offer a specific feature you’re looking for.
The good news is that there is a large number of different fitness trackers on the market that may better fit your style and offer exactly what you’re looking for on a day-to-day basis.
We’ve identified five common problems many people have with their Fitbits, and have found some unique alternatives that might fit your lifestyle better.
Problem 1: Not Professional Enough for Work
Solution: Bellabeat Leaf Fitness Tracker
No matter what Fitbit you might have, they all offer the same “headed to the gym” aesthetic that definitely clashes with professional clothing you might need to wear to work. But that’s definitely not a problem with the Bellabeat Leaf.
Marketed as smart jewelry, the tracker looks like a small leaf and doesn’t have any type of screen. You can select a Leaf with black wood and rose gold accents or a lighter white ash with silver trim. Along with the Leaf itself, your purchase includes a matching double-wrap bracelet and necklace. There are also a huge number of third-party bracelet and necklace offerings to help you make the Leaf blend in with any outfit or event.
The Leaf itself tracks the usual metrics like steps taken, calories burned, sleep duration and more. Using lifestyle habits, the companion iOS or Android app can predict stress in your life and inform you when to be proactive to reduce the issue, and can even offer insight into your menstrual cycle.
Because there’s no screen, the Leaf features a user-replaceable battery that lasts for up to six months, so you never need to worry about charging your device.
Problem 2: Not Waterproof and Can’t Track Swimming
Solution: Misfit Shine 2 Swimmer’s Edition ($64)
If the Fitbit line up has an Achilles’ Heel, it’s definitely water. Currently, only one tracker — the new Flex 2 — has the capacity to track swimming. The majority of the lineup is merely water resistant and can only fend off, at best, a sweaty workout or quick rainstorm.
Water isn’t a problem for the Misfit Shine 2 Swimmer’s Edition. Thanks to a partnership with Speedo, the tracker can track swim distance to the meter, count swim laps for both 25- and 50-meter pools, and can count down a particular swim time. No charging is needed as the replaceable battery can last for up to six months of use.
The multicolor display can provide activity progress, call and text alerts, and more. And when you’re done in the pool, the Shine 2 Swimmer’s Edition can act as a smart button to control a wide variety of smart home devices like the Nest Smart Thermostat.
Problem 3: No Real-Time Feedback While Exercising
Solution: Moov Now</>
While a Fitbit and other fitness trackers are great ways to take a look at exercise after a workout, they don’t provide coaching and real-time feedback while you’re sweating. Moov Now can fill that gap.
Looking like any other fitness tracker, the small circular device can track steps and more during your daily routine. But, when it’s time to workout the fun really begins. The system’s design to analyze your form and provides real-time coaching when running/walking, swimming, boxing, cycling, or while completing the popular 7-Minute Workout.
In conjunction with the companion iOS or Android app, the system will provide feedback about your form, cadence, range of motion, and more depending on the workout you choose. It can even help to minimize your possibility of injury and help you gradually increase intensity.
In total, the Mood Now has 10 workout programs with more than 200 level variations, ensuring you’re never bored. After the workout, you can view detailed information about each session. The user-replaceable battery can last for up to six months of normal usage. The tracker itself is waterproof and resistant to both dirt and sweat.
Problem 4: Doesn’t Track Wheelchair Exercise
Solution: Apple Watch ($269+)
While a Fitbit does a nice job tracking activity when running or walking, it can’t accurately record any activity in a wheelchair. But Apple has made its Apple Watch completely compatible with tracking manual wheelchair users’ daily routines.
Instead of the usual Move, Exercise, and Stand goals, switching to wheelchair mode activates Roll, Exercise, and Move. Both Exercise and Move measures pushes, so active calories are more accurately counted. The watch sensors can also differentiate between surface types, inclines, and transition moments.
With the Workout app, users can take advantage of two specific options: Outdoor Wheelchair Walk Pace and Outdoor Wheelchair Run Pace.
And since it’s a smartwatch, the device can do much more than activity tracking, including tasks like making purchases with Apple Pay, controlling a smart home, or answering texts.
Problem 5: Doesn’t Look Like a Simple Analog Watch
Solution: Nokia Steel
While the ability to track fitness and improve health is a huge draw for fitness trackers like Fitbit, many people enjoy the simplicity (and subtlety) of an analog watch. The Nokia Steel hopes to bridge together these two worlds.
The only clue that the Steel isn’t your normal, run-of-the-mill timepiece is the small subdial in the lower right corner, which tracks progress toward a customizable daily fitness goal. A complete look at your fitness stats is available through an iOS or Android app. The watch constantly monitors your activity in order to automatically recognize the start of a walk, run, swim, or other exercise. There’s no need to press a special button on the Steel or open up the smartphone app.
When the day is over, wear the device to bed for a complete sleep cycle analysis. In the morning, a special silent vibrating alarm will wake you up during the best point in your sleep cycle.
Final Thoughts on Fitbit Alternatives
No matter what your frustrations with Fitbit, there’s an alternative fitness tracker out there that is a better fit for your lifestyle and fashion sense. Hopefully, one of these Fitbit alternatives will offer you better overall experience, and will help keep you on the path to improving fitness and a happier and healthier lifestyle.
Have you used any of these Fitbit alternatives? Or have you gone in another direction to track your daily activity and more? Let us know in the comments!